the New Year approaches as inevitably it does after 364 days. it is a time i am ever fidgety with. my discomfort stems from my inability to wrap my head around why we celebrate the death of time, as i see it. people who celebrate the New Year are looking forward, eager to right the wrongs, eager to do better, become a new person. but that does chime with me: if i make mistakes i must learn from them, accept them too; if i had a shit year, i have to use that shittiness to my advantage somehow, not just by grinning & bearing but utilizing it in the innumerable ways that we can use experiences to our advantage. if i was a dick, if i am unhappy with my state i have to use that too or change it. i certainly shouldn’t be celebrating the eradication of that time & the fresh slate before me. it reminds me of that same myth that once you’ve walked through the doors of St Peter’s in Rome, all sin is washed away, you are given a second chance- that seems ridiculous to me.
i suppose many are celebrating more of the same of what comprised the year that is being exited- i suppose i just have a bleak view of things.
i just can’t see anything worth celebrating; i celebrate life everyday as best i can by being as present as possible in my environment, by utilizing as best as they allow, my brain & body- i don’t have the highest functioning brain but it hobbles me along & lets me get on with a few curious activities.
so, for these reasons, i can’t embrace the celebration of time gone, time dead, it is such a precious commodity, something i wish each day had twice as much of, so i could cram in more. i am greedy for time.
but this isn’t all i want to say. this year was my first year trying to get my poems published. in March, when i began, i had no idea if i would just fall flat on my arse, rosy cheeked with chagrin, humiliated into a husk & to once again return to honing my understanding of poetry. but this didn’t happen, i started getting published, i started to be noticed by people who know what they are talking about, who are educated in poetry, who make it a part of their life as much, if not more than i make it a part of my own life.
i want to thank Chris Murray at PoetHead for first publishing me & introducing me to some highly readable & important poetry; without that first publication to give me confidence it would have been more of a slog to galvanize my enthusiasm & energy to send stuff out.
Abegail Morley at The Poetry Shed for publishing one of my poems.
The team at FourTiesLitReview, especially Matt Larrimore for publishing my poem Fishermen & a video accompaniment where i explain the inspiration for the poem.
Tim Miller, for advising me on changes in my poems, for being a valued commentator/critic & all round decent chap to speak with, furthermore, for writing some sterling poetry i have had such pleasure reading & finally for publishing six of my poems on his blog wordandsilence.
Robert Okaji, for being an incredible poet, for his seeing something in my work, which has made me feel immensely proud of myself & confidant in my abilities & moreover, for seeing something worthwhile in me that materialized in a lengthy Q&A which appeared on his blog O at the Edges & created a buzz about my poems, which i am eternally grateful for.
last but not least, Jose Angel Araguz, who inspired me to alter my approach to poetry after i read his poems in the Inflectionist Review, who later published my poem Haenyo, which was such an honour as i had admired & read Jose’s work for some time. it felt like a famous poet tapping me on the shoulder as i finished a poem off & saying “that’s a fine poem, lad” when Jose offered to publish me on thefridayinfluence.
thank you also to everyone who has read, liked & commented on my blog so far, i hope i can write more that will keep you coming back.
let’s push on to a New Year filled with more of the same.